Celebrities have a lot of things to worry about; their families, their careers, their offers and yes, their looks. Security is a concern best assigned to their hulking bodyguards, so they really should not have to worry about paparazzi, nosy reporters, overeager fans and stalkers.
However, some celebrities felt they had to take the security issue up a notch. So what did they do? They got a tank. Well, okay, they didn’t get a tank. They got the next best thing. An armored vehicle packed with defenses it can stand gunshots, high-caliber attacks, even gas attacks and still remain street-legal.
What is the hottest thing on wheels that also provides security today? The Prombron series of armored luxury cars by Dartz Motors.
Dartz and the Prombron
Dartz was a Latvian car manufacturer that saw success from its early establishment in 1913 but was discontinued in 1922. It resumed operations only in 1988 and immediately took on the task of building armored vehicles for German and Latvian banks. It continually refined its craft of building high-end armored vehicles until it got the notice of clients like Prince Albert II of Monaco and the Chinese market.
Dartz considers the Prombron the pinnacle of its development. Its features include bullet-proof windows, ABS, stabilitrak, airbags, an auto climate control, an internal information system and full electric options. Some models eliminated the driver’s door so there won’t be any chance of hijacking the vehicle.
The Prombron comes in seven types (eight counting the one used in the movie The Dictator), the Gold Russian, the Iron.Xtal, the Monako, the Iron Diamond, the Red Diamond, the Black Russian and the Black Dragon.
Each one comes with a distinct look, but all Prombrons generally have the same security features. It can take between two to three months to complete a Prombron, at the cost of up to $100,000. They retail for around $1.2 million.
However, not all models are available for everyone. Only 12 of the Black Dragons will reportedly be built. In addition to the usual features, it will have more legroom, satellite television, mobile WiFi, a 42″ LCD monitor and electrochromic windows. The price? Only $7 million.
So which celebrities have the Prombron?
Kanye West: While there are no identified security threats to the rapper and his fiance Kim Kardashian, West reportedly bought one Iron Diamond for each of them. Given as he is one of the highest paid rappers in the music industry, $2.4 million dollars is not much when it comes to peace of mind.
Sacha Baron Cohen: Dartz reportedly made the gold-plated prop car in his film The Dictator (its model is called the Aladeen). It must have had an impact on him he decided to go for one of their best-selling cars.
Dartz isn’t the only company providing security on wheels. A company called Texas Armoring Corp. has also made custom vehicles for celebrities who want to pack some armor with their mileage.
Steven Seagal: Texas Armoring has also built custom bulletproof vehicles for the former actor and current policeman. For the record, it was not the vehicle he used to drive through the wall of an Arizona home to check a report on alleged illegal cockfights.
T.I.: Texas Armoring has also secured Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known as T.I. The rapper has some well-publicized scrapes with fellow rappers like Ludacris, Lil Flip and Shawty Lo and nothing much else.
Melanie Brown: Mel B. from the Spice Girls has a Cadillac tricked up by Texas Armoring with bullet-proof glass, electrified doorhandles and can reportedly deploy a smokescreen and caltrops to confuse and disable pursuing vehicles.
Other Armored Car Manufacturers
Dartz and Texas Armoring are not alone when it comes to VIP protection. Several other manufacturers have their own version of security on wheels.
Cadillac One: When the U.S. President takes a plane, he goes on Air Force One; when he has to leave on a helicopter, it has to be Marine One; when the president has to go via the street, he takes the Cadillac One.
The Cadillac One is a heavily-armored limousine with a diesel-powered V8 6.6L turbo 300hp diesel. Its other details remain classified but it’s safe to assume the vehicle has a full range of communications systems and can take gunfire, high-caliber gunfire and even gas attacks. They even joke it can withstand a nuclear warhead.
It’s price? $300,000. You can be sure the White House purchased more than one to secure the president and confuse any would-be-assassins.
BMW 7 Series High Security: A BMW is already considered high-class. An armored BMW? That’s a class of its own.
This vehicle can shrug off projectile weapons and chemical attacks. Even the gas tank is designed to seal itself in case it’s hit by a bullet.
Despite its heavy armor, BMW boasts that the additional weight does not compromise its speed. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just six seconds to make sure you can get away, thanks to its V12 6-liter, 535hp gasoline engine.
It’s cost? $350,000.
Bentley Mulliner Division: Bentley does not just offer luxury cars, they can offer security cars too, and for more than the price of a common Bentley, of course (not to say that Bentleys are common).
The Bentley Mulliner Division, with high-end armor from Mulsanne, is designed to withstand high-powered firearms, chemical threats and explosive attacks from any side. It can also accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just five seconds with maximum speed of 184 miles per hour, thanks to its twin turbocharged 6.7-liter 505hp gasoline engine.
The price is $400,000
Maybach 62S: Maybach manufacturers boast that despite the added security features and armor by Swiss armorer Rijck, the Maybach 62S is still a beauty to behold, both inside and out.
The 62S can reportedly withstand a shot from a high-powered sniper rifle from ten meters and its AMG V12 Biturbo 5980cc 620-hp gasoline engine can let it accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just five seconds.
The cost? $352,000.
Mercedes Benz S-Guard 600: Mercedes Benz is one of the most used cars when securing foreign dignitaries or other VIPs, so it’s not so strange that Mercedes would manufacture their own security/luxury vehicle with the S-Guard 600.
This model is designed to resist close-range sniper fire, rocket propelled grenades and high velocity projectiles. It has a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12 517hp gasoline engine can accelerate it from zero to 60 mph in just four seconds.
This will just set you back around $1.4 million.
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